09/16/2009 4:04PM

HandiGambling Woodbine

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Today's HandiGambling 151 exercise is the eighth race from Woodbine, a $20,000 claimer for three-year-olds and upward going five furlongs over the polytrack. 

Remember that you have a mythical $100 with which to wager on the race, and the entrant with the highest money total will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan."   Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.  In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference.  Past performances are available on the previous blog entry.

I know that there is a time issue for some of you, but let's remember why we began the HandiGambling races in the first place.  The goal was to share ideas on why we like these horses, and why we're betting them the way we are.  I'm not asking for a novel, but if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles, and thought processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.

With post time scheduled for 10:13 ET, I'm going to have to go at it without the benefit of late changes. 

I like #6 ZOUNDS, a gelding that desperately looks in need of today's class drop.  Two back, I thought he ran pretty well for $50K as he tracked the pace while four wide, made a possibly premature bid on the turn, and still trudged on to finish second behind the even-money favorite Star Prospector, a winner of 9 of 15 starts.  That race was flattered somewhat when Star Prospector returned to finish second with a 96 Beyer in a 62.5K optional claimer with a 'n2x' condition. 
Last time out, Zounds switched to turf for a $37,500 tag, chased the pace for a half-mile, and tired in the stretch.  The winner of that race, My Imperial Dancer, returned to finish third in the Ontario-bred Halton Stakes, a race he won in 2007, and was nosed out of the following year.  Zounds finished three lengths ahead of Red Raffles in that July 31 race, and that one came back to win for $32,000 on the polytrack.  Trainer Scott Fairlie has 17 claiming race victories to his name at Woodbine for the year, and two of those winners were ridden by apprentice Michelle Rainford (Officer Rocket dropping from $47,500 to $32,000, and Put Upon dropping from $32,000 to $20,000).
You could make the argument that Zounds is best at slightly-longer distances, but the bullet work on August 17 (46 4/5) and the quick one one on September 7 (47 4/5, second of 46 at the distance) may have sharpened his speed.

SEASON STORM (#1) has only run once since August 17, 2008, was a reported vet scratch since his last start on July 16, 2009 (August 1), and there is more than a month gap between the last two workouts. 

MOON RUCKUS (#2) has only won restricted races (maiden claimers, 10K N2L, 10K N3L), and was a reported vet scratch on September 5.

BRIGHT PICK (#3) once ran against J Be K in the Grade 3 Jersey Shore at Monmouth last year, but is 0-6 since shipping back to Woodbine.  He showed the way for $32,000 last time out before being nosed on the line by dropdown Officer Rocket, and there may be more early types to hound him in this spot.  He's in form, but you have to demand your price as the last time he gained ground from the stretch call to the wire was September 13, 2007.

FAST MILLION (#4) has only run once since August 27, 2008, and was a reported vet scratch since the most recent start on April 18, 2009 (August 3).  He continues to plunge in class, and I'm a bit concerned about whether he's at his best right now.

JAKE RATTLE N ROLL (#5) has really picked up his game since Lasix was added to the equation three starts back, but those races were contested on Colonial turf and the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs.  He's pretty quick out of the gate, but tired badly at Presque Isle, and his ability is questionable on these synthetic surfaces.

PEACE ROCK (#7) was the beaten favorite when finishing behind Bright Pick on August 19, but he never got near the inside that day, and can be forgiven for that defeat.  He went gate to wire two back, and looks part of a contentious pace picture.

TUGASKE (#8) may be the speed of the speed, but stamina has been a major issue in his last three starts.  He is fresh, and has never raced this cheaply, but an early duel would likely hurt his chances.

ONEMOREBOURBON (#9) won his maiden at 5 1/2 furlongs back in 2005, but he seems like a different horse if he doesn't make the lead.  He's solid when he gets to an early advantage, but seems one-paced when he's in chase gear.

SERGEANT MATT (#10) faltered after pressing the pace in his last two tries, and m face even faster fractions in this spot. 

WHATWILLBEWILLBE (#11) takes a big drop out of allowance and 'n2x' optional claimers.  He has sneaky early speed, and may be right there when the field turns for home.  He wouldn't be the worst longshot stab in the world.

I'll keep it simply and play:

$100 Win Zounds (#6) - hoping for 2-1 or greater.

Best of luck to all.

Matt M. More than 1 year ago
Sedonia... I saw her race as a 2 yr. old up at the SPA last summer (08) and also caught her juvi stakes win..... nice filly. Looks like she ran a nice race yesterday...wish you continued success with her.
tencentcielo More than 1 year ago
Captain Bodgit, He was retired after an injury before the Bredeers' Cup Juvenile last year and is currently at stud.
Annie More than 1 year ago
Oh, I just noticed, guess who had the highest earnings per start? (Using last 6 races, or last two years if did not have 6 starts this year). You guessed it...Zounds! Annie
Annie More than 1 year ago
HG 151: OK, that's a 0 for me too. It seems I discounted two of the four horses in the super. Onemorebourbon because I thought he would need a race as he didn't look likely to win first out for the year. Sergeant Matt just looked outclassed to me. Oh well, this HG exercise constantly reminds me why I play the multi-race wagers instead of supers. I do OK figuring out who needs to be on a ticket as a possible winner, but not so much figuring who's going to be 3rd or 4th, or 2nd or 4th, as the case may be. But, it is good practice nontheless and since I never play supers with real money, I'm alright. Congrats to Dan for zeroing in on the winner, and to all who made money, mythical or otherwise, on the HG this week. BTW, the winner had the second highest last race Beyer (80). Bright Pick had an 81. :) Annie
Steve T. More than 1 year ago
Captain Bodgit, Street Hero was retired at the end of 2008 after suffering an injury. He stands at The Vinery and is now down in Australia for their season.
Stephen Taylor More than 1 year ago
Midwest Ed- No real "insider stuff" on the jocks scuffle but in my opinion the jocks are on edge with the injuries. The problem is that they feel like the poly is unforgiving to them should they come off a horse. I've noticed jocks who are reluctant to go thru tight spots they may have tried to go thru in the past, but more importantly jocks are objecting on a regular basis (minimum of one a day last week, and I know on Saturday there were at least 2 if not more) The other thing they've done is overreacted and made the track extremely deep and tiring which I would think isn't gonna be a good thing for the horses. It will be interesting to see what comes out of all of this.
Sedonia More than 1 year ago
Hello all, A filly I have part ownership of ran yesterday at Belmont R1. Her name is R Betty Graybull. Does anyone know what preliminary Beyer she would receive for yesterdays race? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
Ez Goer More than 1 year ago
Keeneland Sales..... This is exactly what the industry needs. There are too many sires, too many breeders, and (two) too many elite operations that act like teenage girls. I'm not going to bid on your stallion but, overbid on mine.. nah, nah, na-nah, nah!! I believe less is more but am afraid that the only breeders to survive will be the elite operations that don't have the best interest of the industry in mind....Nice farms to visit though...all the stsllions in one place.
Katieattherail More than 1 year ago
For WhackyMacky, I just read the previous thread, and add my sincere and heartfelt condolences to you on this tragic loss to your family. A dear running friend passed away in May due to the same disease, I take comfort in hiking and running the trails she loved and know she's there with me. Remember your loved one in the smallest, happiest moments of your days. Be well, and maybe I'll see you in October at Woodbine... Katie
Katieattherail More than 1 year ago
Good morning, SkyDime..... I am probably the only person on the planet, other than the jock who still made a few bucks for that last place ride, to have made money on Citoyen yesterday? Why, you ask? Because when I pulled into the OTB parking lot, I found a Washington lying on the ground near my car, and then when I went into bet, they told me - for some obscure reason - that Woodbine wasn't playable there that day! So don't feel bad for me, SkyDime, you've come through in the past and will do so again soon, I'm sure. Let's just give this horse a rest.... Katieattherail